Actor Brian Michael came out as
transgender in an interview with GLAAD.
The 32-year-old Michael played
transgender police officer Toine Wilkins in Wednesday's episode of
OWN's Queen Sugar. He's previously only played cisgender
Speaking to GLAAD, Michael explained
that because he is not “visibly trans,” securing cisgender roles
was easier, but added that he wants to include transgender characters
in his work.
“Because I began my career
post-transition and am not ’visibly trans,’ I had the privilege
of choosing to disclose or not and I was able to go in for any role
that fit my type,” Michael
said. “I knew that at some point I would want to explore my
trans experience in my work, but I wanted to make sure my
self-understanding and skills were sharp enough to do justice to this
deeply personal subject.”
“I also had concerns that disclosing
my gender history, without establishing myself as a strong actor
first, would exclude me from being considered for non-trans roles. I
feel that because I began my career post-transition and am not
'visibly trans,' I had the privilege of choosing to disclose or not
and I was able to go in for any role that fit my type.”
“There was a fear that playing trans
characters and being more visible would limit the kinds of roles I
can do but, since this experience, taking on such a complex and
resonant character and what I was able to create with this amazing
cast & crew, I feel like the door is open wider,” he added.
Michael has also appeared on Girls,
Blue Bloods, Person of Interest and The Detour.